Plymouth NHS integrates with national IT programme

The body that provides IT services to many of Plymouth's GPs and hospitals is using a systems integration tool from InterSystems to link its existing applications to new systems from the NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

The body that provides IT services to many of Plymouth's GPs and hospitals is using a systems integration tool from InterSystems to link its existing applications to new systems from the NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

The body, Plymouth NHS ICT Shared Services, is replacing its current integration platform with InterSystems Ensemble to help the Plymouth healthcare community to integrate its best-of-breed legacy clinical applications with the datacentre-hosted suite of applications provided by Connecting for Health, which runs the NPfIT.
 
Nick Thomas, director of ICT at Plymouth, said, “This investment will enable the community to fully embrace the central integrated solutions provided by the National Programme for IT, while maintaining and enhancing the benefits to clinicians delivered by our local best-of-breed applications.”

Plymouth Shared Services supports more than 15,000 users across a large acute NHS trust, a teaching primary care trust and more than 50 GP surgeries in the area.

Plymouth Shared Services will use InterSystems’ rapid integration software, Ensemble, to tie together its existing best-of-breed applications within its numerous sites.

InterSystems said Ensemble supported popular object-oriented development environments, including Microsoft .net. This gives a close fit with tools already in use by the Shared Services team, protecting the existing investment in development skills.

“InterSystems Ensemble will enable us to work more efficiently to deliver robust, scalable, maintainable and cost-effective integration solutions to our stakeholders,” said Andy Blofield, head of technology at Plymouth Shared Services.

“In addition to providing an improved service, by streamlining the development and management processes of our integration architecture, we will have an IT system that’s flexible and scalable enough to support the community in the long term, while still allowing us to use the most appropriate systems for our needs,” Blofield added.

Plymouth Shared Services said it planned to use InterSystems Ensemble to populate a new local business data warehouse with data from the remote national datacentre in real time. Ensemble will also help the team move towards service oriented architecture (SOA).

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

 

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